Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge

My Rating:
Will and Whit - Laura Lee Gulledge
Will and Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge

Will is 17 and a regular teenager, except for the fact that she lost her parents a year ago. She lives with her aunt, Elsie, and helps her run the family business, a quaint antique store. She’s very creative and loves to make lamps with bits and pieces she finds in the store. In fact, it helps keep the dark at bay after the tragedy. At the beginning of the book, it’s almost the end of the summer, and Will is getting ready to go back to school when she learns that a group of youth are organizing an art carnival in town. She would love to be a part of it along with her friends Autumn and Noel. But hurricane Whitney is on its way, and the blackout it generates threatens to swallow Will whole.

This wonderful coming-of-age graphic novel shows the healing power art can have over grief. It also deals with important themes like fears, friendships and love. In addition, Laura Lee Gulledge’s drawings are beautiful, and the dark background outside the panels during the blackout is a nice touch. I especially loved the Will & Whit folk rock soundtrack at the end of the book, as well as the Blue Crush Cookies recipe. The only (minor) flaw in this graphic novel is that Noel and Desmond are sometimes hard to tell apart because they look very much alike. Otherwise, it’s a great read, and I would highly recommend it. No wonder that Will & Whit was named one of the Best Teen Graphic Novels of 2013 by the Kirkus Review!

Fun facts about the book and the author:

  • Hurricane Isabel (2003) was the inspiration for Whitney.
  •  Laura Lee Gulledge loves to create art installations, as does Will in the book.
  • The author developed a Will & Whit musical, a DIY show for young students to perform in schools.
  • Laura Lee Gulledge’s great-grandmother, Wilhelmina Maerker Lansford, was the inspiration for Will. Another great-grandmother, Elsie Huckstep Bowling Green, was the inspiration for Elsie.

About the author and her work: Who is Laura Lee

To read a review of Laura Lee Gulledge’s first book: Page by Paige 

If you liked this book you might also like:

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci
The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci
The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell
The Impostor’s Daughter by Laurie Sandell
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Smile by Raina Telgemeier

 

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Written by Cecile

Cécile Sune was born in Lyon, France, and her obsession with books started when she was 14. Her grandparents had lent her Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and she spent part of the summer indoors reading. Needless to say, her tan didn't really improve that year! It was also around that time that Cécile fell in love with the English language. Several years later, in 1999, Cécile moved to Toronto, Canada, with her cat and 5 suitcases. Her love of reading greatly increased when she discovered that English books were much cheaper than French novels. In 2013, she decided to start a blog to share her passion. Cécile now lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her husband and their daughter, and works as a freelance translator (CS Revision).

Cecile

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